Five weeks have passed since Hank Sr., (Dad) the founder of Delvin Farms, was flown to Vanderbilt's trauma unit after a life threatening truck accident on the way to the Franklin Farmers' Market. It feels so much longer, but one thing that strikes me as truly awesome is the true community in the Delvin Farms Community Supported Agriculture.The Community in 'Community Supported Agriculture'
With Dad being out of commission, my brother, Hank, and I have come to realize that he is not only the founder of the operation, but the work he does on the farm is actually the "work of four men," as Hank puts it. There have been many problems or questions that have come up that have made us say aloud, "u;Well, if Dad were here..." And to make matters worse, we have also lost Mom on the farm too, since she spends her days in the hospital with Dad. Luckily, our brother, Eric had come home for a little while to help out. We also have an amazing farm crew that has worked overtime to get us back on track.
A few weeks ago Eric and I were discussing the benefits of joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture program). I voiced my concern that not much was producing on the farm in this strange cool summer we'd been having, and I was worried that our CSA customers were unhappy with the lack of variety thus far in their boxes. Eric pointed out that people don't join a CSA to buy vegetables that they can just go purchase at Whole Foods; rather what they are buying in a CSA is the farmer's trials and tribulations. A CSA is more than picking up a weekly box of vegetables. It is participating in a community that supports the land and the farmer who lovingly raises the food from seed to table. A CSA is a way to know where one's food originates, and it is a way to know and care for the person who grows the food that will nourish the body.
Three times a week we have CSA drop-offs and farmers' markets, and Wednesdays are our busiest days. We start early with harvesting for the 400 shares that we will deliver before 3:00 pm, plus we have the East Nashville Farmers' Market. We have an overly ambitious goal of starting to put the boxes together by 9:00 am, but that never happens. Instead, it's a lot of last minute throwing produce on the truck for the East Nashville Market and praying that we haven't forgotten something important such as the cash register (which we have forgotten before) or worse, the CSA boxes. Our minds recently have been on Dad, and the stress of keeping the business going and doing as good of a job as he would if he were with us has made us sometimes forget small things, such as the cash register!
Even though it has been a stressful time for the Delvin family, our CSA members have really come together and prayed, sent cards, food, and good wishes, and have visited. At the farmers' markets, members ask about Dad and tell me they are praying for him. They come by at the end of the markets to help us break down and load the truck, and they tell my brother and me what a great job we are doing in keeping the farm running (always good to hear!).
Lately Mom (Cindy) has been able to leave Dad for a while and help us out at the farm and markets. I have really missed working beside her and every time she is able to leave him to come out to the farm I am reminded that it's one day closer to Dad being home again.
Dad's knee surgery was on August 26, and it went well. He is now at NHC in Cool Springs, which is a great rehabilitation hospital. He will stay there until his hip replacement, and then he will return there after his hip surgery for a few more months. We hope to have him home for Christmas and have a brand new deck built for him to enjoy sunsets on the farm while he rehabilitates and prepares for working beside us in the spring. Thank you all again for your prayers, cards, food, and thoughts sent our way! Our CSA members have truly defined the community in Community Supported Agriculture!